This Week in Theate
by Rose Desena
Is divorce the end of the story? Not always, particularly if you are writer Peter Lefcourt. For him, it’s just the beginning. His new play, “The Way You Look Tonight,” is a delightful story about a couple who discover they still care about each other. Now this might not sound like a bad thing, but they both have new relationships – and one is a bit of a shocker. No, I am not saying anything else, other than it’s complicated to say the least.
What I loved most about this production, besides the stunning writing, was the stellar directing. Terri Hanauer (director) navigates the actors with absolute precision, making this simple story a sheer joy to watch – grasping the funny moments, but letting the honesty of the story shine without making it seem silly.
Blake Silver (Ishmael) is, among other things, the play’s narrator. He’s adorable and will win you over as he gracefully moves around the stage multitasking. He switches from French waiter, complete with an unruly mustache, to his part as the narrator, and fully engages with the audience. He does it all while moving around props and lusting after assistant stage manager “Margaret” (Rachel Goodwein). There is no doubt that he owned his characters. I was there opening night, and I always expect some glitches with props and lines, and yes, there were a few. But Silver covered them so well they became part of the script. I really appreciate that; it’s a sign of a true pro.
Sean Smith (Robyn) and Robin Riker (Esme) are endearing in their bathroom stall scenes, and both share a passion for expensive shoes. John Marzilli (Bernard) is quite lovable, even if his character is a bit obnoxious. You know the type – a loud mouth film guy with a big ego and a heart to match. Robb Derringer (Teddy) is the confident Ex with a little secret that drives his ex-wife into a bit of a frenzy.
I think most people are curious about their ex’s. It’s only natural to have feelings, whether they’re good or bad, about a person you shared part of your life with. I know when I once ran into one of mine of 5 years, I was a little happy to know he had gained weight and looked like crap. That’s mean, but he was a jerk. Then, of course, there is always the one you let go who you shouldn’t have. It’s a fun topic that Lefcourt explores in jest. He uses a college graduation to bring his characters together after several years of limited contact, emphasizing the anticipation and preconceived notions that both Esme and Teddy are experiencing leading up to their meeting. The whole story is real and a situation many can relate to.
“The Way You Look Tonight” is a winner. It’s Fun, upbeat with good laughs, great acting and excellent production quality. It’s a slice a life story with a lot of truth and a little old fashioned theater magic. The perfect date night play. I left the theater happy.
Kudos to Racquel Lehrman from Theater Planners for recognizing a good project and taking it on. With so much work that comes their way it’s not always an easy decision.
So grab your current mate, or — if you have the guts — give your ex a call and check it out. I loved it. It’s a MUST SEE.
“The Way You Look Tonight”
Written by: Peter Lefcourt
Directed by: Terri Hanauer
Cast: Robb Derringer, John Marzilli, Robin Riker, Blake Silver, Sean Smith
Runs: through Aug. 24 Fridays at 8 p.m.: Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 3 p.m.
A guest production at the
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90025
323-960-7712 or www.plays411.com/tonight